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tv   Our World  BBC News  December 28, 2016 1:30am-2:01am GMT

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than half a century to visit pearl harbour. he joined president obama to remember the more than 2,400 us servicemen killed in the japanese attack on the naval base 75 years ago. mr abe said that the horrors of war must never be repeated. the american film star carrie fisher, who played princess leia in the star wars films, has died at the age of 60. she had been in intensive care since friday after recently suffering a cardiac arrest. harrison ford, who played alongside her, said she was one—of—a—kind, brilliant, original. ajudge in argentina has indicted the former president, cristina fernandez de kirchner, on corruption charges. the case involves a private company, austral, which was granted lucrative contracts from the government. let's have a look at the morning's papers. actress carrie fisher's death at the age of 60 is the main focus of the independent. the paper also claims to have seen plans to topple unite union's chief len mccluskey. carrie fisher also makes headlines in the mail, as does new analysis
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from researchers that 80% of the middle—aged population in the uk are in bad health. the express also features the new health figures, reporting that diabetes among the middle—aged has doubled. the daily telegraph claims that the armed forces face another round of cuts, partly due to the fall in the pound. it also notes transport disruption due to cold weather across the uk. the times reports that the government will reform charges for electric car charging to combat the steep costs that are currently imposed. the paper also carries an image of carrie fisher as princess leia. and finally, the sun also pays tribute to carrie fisher, and reports that george michael will be buried in his family's private plot. and now on our world, a look at india's toxic ganges river and whether it can be cleaned up. earlier this year, the bbc‘s justin rowlatt travelled along its polluted shores. the ganges is one of the greatest rivers in the world,
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but it is in trouble. pollution on a vast scale has turned its sacred waters into a stinking and lethal cocktail. oh, god. there's industrial waste... what are you stopping? why are you stopping? the sewage from a50 million people. all the while, so much water is being taken out that large stretches of the river don't flow for months. the indian pm has staked his political reputation on cleaning it up. but is the ganges, india's sacred river, still being killed by pollution? dawn breaks over the himalayas.
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and the glacier that is the source of the ganges. a small stream emerges from a cave in the ice. gomukh, the cow's mouth, they call it, one of the most sacred sites in all hinduism. as the river descends from the mountains, it gathers pace. it is known as ganga mata, mother ganges, and it is
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an apt name. as i will be discovering on this incredible journey, the ganges has nurtured and supported the rise of india's great civilisation, but this mighty river is under serious threat. here in the himalayas, the water looks pristine, crystal clear. take a look at this. now, that looks good enough to drink, but actually studies show that even here, the waters of the ganges are becoming increasingly polluted. as we travelled down from the source, the issues become more and more pronounced. in the holy city of rishikesh, an ancient fire ritual begins. it is performed in celebration
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and in worship of the mother ganges, but there is an irony here. while hundreds of millions of indians revere the river, they are also pouring their waste into it. it is a burden the ganges simply cannot bear any more. ganga is not mere water to indians, it is the mother, a goddess. sitting on the banks i can tell you that we come to give... people think it can take care of their sins, can take care of anything. and they forget. to me, if ganga dies, india dies. and if it thrives, india thrives. this has become symbolic
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of an even bigger project. india's effort to lift its people out of poverty and become a modern world power. when narendra modi won a landslide victory two years ago, one of the first commitments he made was to tackle pollution in the river. he has promised serious money, he said he will spend more than $3 billion over the next five years on his clean ganga mission. but delivering on his promise may be one of his greatest challenges, because if anything speaks of the failure of government in india, it is the abuse this great river is suffering. there is no better example than kanpur, the centre of india's giant leather industry. india is one of the biggest
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producers of leather in the world. much is exported to the us and europe. but the industry is very polluting, with toxic chemicals used to soften and preserve the hides, and many of them are toxic carcinogens. a local environmental campaigner takes the on a tour of what he claims is india's dirtiest town. indian politicians have been talking about cleaning up the ganges for three decades. he says pollution has only got worse. take a look at this, i have to say, it really smells here. these poor people have to live beside this stream. looking down at the water, you can see it is black with effluent. gags
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it really smells. there is a tanneryjust there. oh, god. it is really powerful! what kind of waste are we having here? highly chemicalised and toxic water. waste water coming from the tanneries. and you know, tanneries used a variety of chemicals. including dangerous ones like chromium are used to soften the leather, aren't they? yes, heavy metals and pesticides as well. he says this drain, like many others, still pours untreated into the ganges.
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it is a shocking indictment on the effort to clean the river. this is where that awful drain, which you can still smell here, runs down into the ganges. it is very disheartening. when i started 20 years back i used to see the river in a much better position. i have only seen the situation worsening from bad to worse, and you can see the pollution now, it is killing the town. the man in charge of the clean ganga mission admits deep problems need to be tackled, but he says progress is being made. they didn't use the law to bear upon the industry in a manner that... why not, what was going on? you can say corruption is part of it. when we saw the licences, we found there were only 267 of them.
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can we choose the tannery? he sent us out with a team of pollution inspectors to demonstrate that things are changing. hello, sir. pollution control. this is a bit different. this does not look so good. he is stopping something happening. look at these! what are you stopping? why are you stopping? who is in charge of this place? how many days have you left this? four days.
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there are four days of flesh? this is where they stripped the flesh from the hides, and there are four days work here. it is disgusting, you can see the flesh from the hides, and there are four days‘ work here. there are huge puddles of water, which is that distinctive blue colour. this does not look so good. not tidy, not much tidy. he says this drain is connected to the treatment plant which isjust down here. we have to literally wade through these hides, and they are all swollen and bloated. how do you get across?
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it is like walking on rubber, that is disgusting. these are untreated. everything seems jumbled together. you said to me that segregation and separation... it is required, but there is none here. almost 100 tanneries have been shut down, but i'm shocked that somewhere like that place is still operating. it needs some improvement. a lot of improvement. it was disgusting in there. we will definitely have some action. what action would you take? do you think it will be closed? i will make a recommendation. you will be saying to close this place? sure, sure.
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there are other problems here, the environmental campaigner has somewhere else he wants to take me. rakesh has brought me to the outflow of the main effluent treatment plant, which treats sewage and industrial waste. just take a look at this. let me remind you, this is the treated water. the government admits that the existing plant can only cope with a fraction of the waste from the tanneries. and guess where this water goes. that's right, on to the fields, where it gets 2500 hectares —— that's right, on to the fields, where irrigates 2500 hectares of agricultural ground. the problem is notjust what is going into the river, but what is being taken out. welcome to reporters. i am philip thomas here at the bbc headquarters
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in london. in this special edition of the programme we are looking back at some of the best reports from this year from at some of the best reports from this yearfrom our at some of the best reports from this year from our network of correspondence around the world. coming up... stand off in the skies above the south china sea and finesse. we fly over one of the most contested areas in the world. you can't make no mistakes, it cost you your life, literally. ian pannell reports from barack 0bama's former hometown and finds gun crime is out of control. and how scientists are dealing with a shortage of organ donations. the bbc went to extraordinary lengths this year to get a rare glimpse of china's determined expansion in the south china sea, one of the most contested areas anywhere in the world. beijing is building huge artificial islands on the spratly island chain, which the americans and others insist are illegal.
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the area is difficult to get to, but rupert wingfield—hayes flew in a small civilian aircraft into china's self—declared security zone 200 kilometres off the coast of the philippines. this is what he found. it's just before dawn on the philippine island of palawan. even at this hour it's hot, but there's no sign here of the trouble brewing a few hundred miles out to sea. i'm about to take off on a trip the chinese government has tried to stop. just 140 nautical miles from the philippine coast, we spot new land. this place is called mischief reef. until a year ago, there was nothing here, just a submerged atoll. now look at it. millions of tons of material have been dredged up to build this
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huge new island. then as we close to 12 nautical miles, this. down below we can see a pair of chinese navy ships. 0ur pilots are nervous. they want to turn away. we're a civilian aircraft flying over international waters and yet we're being repeatedly threatened. so what we're getting is the chinese sending out that message, foreign military aircraft, unidentified military aircraft, leave the area immediately. in chinese and english, our captain replied saying
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we are a civilian aircraft, not a military aircraft, but it didn't make any difference, they repeated the threat to leave the area over and over again. as we fly on the full extent of the construction is revealed. the lagoon is teeming with ships. a cement plant is visible on the new land. then for the first time a clear view of the new runway china is building here. a chinese fighter taking off from here could reach the philippine coast in nine minutes. in the last year, china has built at least seven new islands and three new runways in the south china sea. 0ne here at mischief reef, another at subi reef and the biggest of all at fiery cross. the aim is to reinforce china's claim to the whole of the south china sea. more than 40% of the world's trade passes through the waters below us. china is determined to assert its control. america and its allies say
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they won't let that happen. and as we have found out, it may already be too late. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in the south china sea. now to evidence of a startling rise in gun violence the us, including in barack 0bama's hometown of chicago. killings in the city have reached a 20—year high. a deadly summer of violence brought this year's death toll to 500. most of the victims and their killers were young men. we spent a week in chicago and found a world where guns rule. in my neighbourhood, they start young. that is the edge, and they are dying from guns. very young. we have to teach children how to defend themselves. it is like, what do you do?
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you would rather be caught with protection than without it. i have never seen so many gui'is. like, we have so many guns. but i have never seen as many as now. bo deal is a rapper from the west side, now, the most violent part of chicago. he is a member of the vice lords gang. he has been imprisoned. and even he is shocked by what has happened. it is like somebody dropped off crazy amounts of guns in the neighbourhood. i think that many guys need to die to make it better. some of these guys need to be killed and knocked off to make it a better place. sirens. more people have been killed here since 2001 than us deaths in iraq and afghanistan combined. and yet, there is almost no outcry.
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do you worry about your children? i do. like, to be honest, i have a son of seven and a daughter of four, and i have not taught them how to ride a bike because the environment they live in is just not safe. i love you. i love you, dadda. i am trying to change the cycle. it is hard when you don't really have help, you know what i'm saying? we have been put in a weird position, you know what i'm saying, because... hold on. cut. this stuff don't end. with so many guns and so little
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control, the murders will rise. rarely solved, and barely noticed. this may sound like the stuff of science fiction movies, but american researchers broke new ground this year by trying to grow human organs inside pigs. the research uses a pioneering technique called gene editing, which allows genes to be changed quickly. some say this may end the organ crisis. but it also may raise ethical issues. you are watching two species being mixed. humans stem cells are being injected into a one—day—old pig embryo. you can see them travelling down the tube.
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this biologist in california is trying to grow a human pancreas inside a pig. our hope is that this will develop normally. but the pancreas will be made up almost exclusively out of human cells so that then that pancreas will be compatible with the patient for transplantation. the technique is known as gene editing. it uses molecular scissors to delete the dna instructions in the pig embryo to create a pancreas. the ambition is the human cells will fill the void and grow a human pancreas instead. the same technique might enable other organs to be grown for transplant. the bbc‘s panorama was allowed to film the sows filled with human embryos known as chimeras. human stem cells are taken from a patient, they could be tissue matched, reducing
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the risk of rejection. this research raises profound ethical concerns. crucially, just how human and the piglets developing inside this sow? it is such a sensitive area that the chimeric embryos will not be permitted to go to term, but be removed for tissue analysis after 28 days‘ gestation when they are about a centimetre long. they will crucially check whether the brain develops humanlike qualities. another pioneer in this field told me this question has yet to be resolved. whatever we tried to make, whether it is a kidney, liver, a lung, we will look at what is happening in the mind. and if we find it is too humanlike, it will be ended. 0rganisations campaigning for an end to factory farming are dismayed 7000 people are on the transplant
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waiting list in the uk and hundreds die each year before a donor can be found. but patient trials involving gene edited pig organs are still a long way off. and that is all from this special edition of reporters looking back at some of the best reports from this year. from me, phillipa thomas, goodbye for now. the first part will be quite as cold but that is the least of my concerns because across much of england before golby get in first up in the morning. quite so much in the south—west or more in the way we view to keep things mixed up but anywhere from central to east wales right through to the middle east
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staying in the south—east and then into the vale of york it could be quite a slow commute. for the rest of england and scotland are looking more libraries to keep things mixed overnight. chilly in a couple of spots but milder especially across the northern and western isles, close to a weather front here. some brightness in the mix for north of england west wales. but elsewhere it will stay quite cloudy and if you happen to keep fog for any length of time during the course of the day it may well be that your visibility really does suffer for a good while and your temperature may never get better than zero or one or two degrees. if the fog should lift it will could be back with a vengeance on thursday because that will be similar with more away a cloud again and rain getting into areas north
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and rain getting into areas north and west of the great glen of through the western isles. northern isles to. for the south would keep the cloud, not to much in the way of brightness and again temperatures are for—8d perhaps but where the fog leaders it will be cold. as we move on into friday the weather front begins to make progress. squeezing up begins to make progress. squeezing up the ice above. perhaps come friday the fog will be less of an issue. relatively mild air streaming in from the atlantic across scotland and northern ireland. further south—western fringes doing quite nicely but again of the fog lingered ona nicely but again of the fog lingered on a length of time it could be closer to six or seven across parts of east anglia. then we are off and running towards the weekend in the new year in fact. this is where we will see a change. weatherfront comes down across the british isles in the airstreaming comes down across the british isles in the air streaming in from the north behind that sell a significant change and the colder condition if you are near the front it could be wet. a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe.
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my name's mike embley. our top stories: 75 years on, japan's prime minister shinzo abe makes a historic visit to pearl harbor, offering condolences to victims of the attack. translation: we must never repeat the horrors of war again. this is the solemn vow we, the people of japan, have taken. somebody get this walking carpet out of my way. an outpouring of tributes. carrie fisher, the american actress who played the feisty princess leia in star wars, has died at the age of 60. argentina's former president, cristina fernandez de kirchner, is charged over corruption allegations. make no bones about it, scientists believe evolution may be to blame forjoint pain, and it could get even worse.
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